Posts Tagged ‘keys to the kingdom’

P-shipJesus: So, how was spring break?

Peter: Great! I took the kids, Mom and the little woman to the beach at the Promontory of Zeus, near Haifa.

Jesus: Yeah, super beaches and great restaurants. Our family went there a few years back for Jimmy’s birthday.

Peter: Did you go to the Phoenician Museum?

Jesus: Yep. At the time, Jimmy was crazy about ships and Jude wanted to see a dolphin.

Peter: So, you went to Sea World?

Jesus: Yeah, but paying two denari to stand and look in a big tidal pool is a bit much. Thank goodness there was a 10 denari limit for families!

Peter: I had to pay 8.

Jesus: Did you like the Phoenician Museum? Did’ja see the round boat?

Peter: Amazing–they sailed those to the ends of the earth and back.

Jesus (smiling): Yep. Did you go to the Crab Shack?

Peter (surprised): Lord, no!!! I wouldn’t eat one of those sea spiders in my dreams! We went to the Purple Clam and sat in the kosher room. I had some terrific grilled tuna and Salome and the kids had the ‘catch of the day,’ fried mahimahi.

Jesus: Did you sea fish?

Peter: Of course, I saw fish.

Jesus: No, did you fish in the sea?

Peter (clumsily): Oh, yeah–I went out on a day boat with some Samaritans–they were a lot of fun for a bunch of sinners.

Jesus: Samaritans. What’d’ya think? Should they be kicked out for disagreeing over temple sites and stuff? Should they be allowed to worship in our synagogues?

Peter (thoughtfully): Really (rubbing his chin)…I think there should be as few barriers between God and humans as possible. If someone wants to know you, or the Father, who am I to put up hurdles? Like you say, if they love God and others as themselves, they’re headed the right direction. We, Jews, try to keep the Law of Moses in our hearts, but that’s a joke, really. Mercy and grace are our only chance at seeing God. As you say, “Truth on the inside; grace on the outside.”

Jesus (patting him on the back): That’s key, Peter. You have the key–you will fish for people someday. Remember this conversation. Pull’em into God’s boat. (Pointing at Peter) Upon this ‘rock’ I’ll build my church.

Peter: Wow. That’s a lot of metaphors.

Jesus (sheepishly): Yeah, that kinda got away from me…

Tr8: You have the key to open and close doors or pull people into the boat or whatever. Don’t mess it up.

Loosely based on Matthew 16.

Advertisements

Peter catching up with Jesus on the outskirts of Jerusalem after the resurrection:

“Jesus! Wait up. How do you like my new hat? My wife knitted it. Red’s not my color, but it makes her happy if I wear it.”

“Nicely done, Peter. Red hats work for you.”

Walking.

“Peter, remember the thing I said about the keys?”

“Yeah. You said you were going to give me some keys. We’d build a church.”

“It’s another analogy. Not real keys.”

“So, there’s not going to be a real church building where I’ll lock the door…insiders, in, outsiders, out?”

“In our church I want insiders, in and outsiders, in. When I’m gone, you’ll be one of the leaders of the church. Later you’ll go to Rome and die as I have. Your spiritual legacy for some folks will be a really big hat.”

“Hmm. I’m willing to die for you and Lord, I’ve promised to feed your sheep, but a hat?”

“Let’s skip the hat for now. Let me explain the keys. The day will come when Gentiles will want to join up with you guys and believe in me as you do.”

“Gentiles? I wouldn’t dream of that.”

“Okay, I’ll send you a dream so you’ll remember…Cornelius and a sheet full of scary food. Here’s the important thing: don’t make it hard for the Gentiles to come to me. You know the Pharisees love to make rules that only serve their vanity and keep people apart from our Father. You are to be the opposite. You, Peter, are in charge of not making up rules. As I have accepted you, you should accept others. Think of Matthew, remember, he was a tax collector.”

“Yeah, you surprised us with Matthew. Couldn’t figure a tax collector, but he’s a real saint.”

“Peter, your keys open or lock doors to people coming to me. Don’t lock the doors. Don’t set a lot of hurdles the Gentiles will have to jump to get to me. Not only do you need to use them wisely, you need to teach your disciples to keep the doors open and avoid crazy doctrines and orthodoxy that will push people away.”

“Got it. Feed sheep. Keep doors open.”

“Peter, you are a rock. You’ll do great. You’ll be so impressively wise with the keys that generations will think of you as King of the Keys. And the hat? It’ll be huge. Red and gold, and the leaders in the church in Rome will wear it. It’s pretty goofy. In fact, they’ll call the leaders “Papa” and treat them like kings. Be thankful for the hat your wife knitted.”

Tr8: Be gracious with your keys. Keep the doors to Christ open and unobstructed. In grace, bring them in. The Holy Spirit will take care of the rest. Just open the doors to everyone.